Archive for the ‘Feast of Weeks – Shavuot’ Category

Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts

Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts is a personal or group in-depth study guide/student manual that reveals the shadows and realities of the Messiah in the prophetic visions in the Feasts of the LORD. It will fill in the holes of your Bible when reading the words ‘Jewish feast’ or ‘the feast of the Jews.’  This study will illuminate often-overlooked phrases and idioms that allude to the ‘appointed times’ of God.

Both the prophet Micah and King Solomon state that without prophetic vision and knowledge, God’s people perish. Studying the Biblical holy days will revive the searching soul and bring insight and understanding into the complete salvation found in Yeshua – his past, present, and future work.

This newly revised study guide/student manual includes Scriptures from the Torah, Prophets, Psalms, Gospels, and Letters. It includes activities for families and children that will enhance celebrating the Biblical ‘appointed times’ as well as suggestions for digging deeper into traditional and Biblical Jewish customs surrounding Yeshua In His Father’s Feasts.

If you are doing a group study, a leader’s manual for the revised second edition student manual can be purchased that not only has the answers to the questions, but also ideas for spurring discussions.

May be purchased on amazon.com

Reviews:

“This is the best Bible study I have ever done. I can’t seem to put it down and I am learning more and more about my faith everyday. I have been a believer for 60 years and I am learning truths I was never taught in church. I even asked my pastor if he knew all of this and admitted, he did not.” (M. Graves)

“I have been growing in my faith from reading and studying the Feasts in this guide. Thank you for your faithfulness to Yeshua!” (S. Corben)

“Few Christians understand that the context for the Jewish Messiah of the New Testament of their Bibles is the culture and language and history of the nation of Israel. This book helps explain why that culture, language and history is necessary knowledge for understanding the identity of the Messiah and how knowing the Jewish Messiah enlarges the understanding of the Biblical feasts. Good, basic foundational information from which to launch further study. Very enjoyable and eye-opening.” (W. Lopez)

“Loved it. Will keep going back for future Wisdom that truly matters.” (J. Banta)

“I have learned so many things about the Bible that I never saw before. I loved learning about the fall festivals and I became aware of more and more people teaching about these special times. I especially learned that Christmas and Hanukkah are very different holidays. I am grateful to have done this Bible study.” (L. Herbert)

“My eyes are seeing so much more in Scripture, especially the new testament, after doing this study.” (M. Gravenhorst)

The ‘Cloud’ of Witness

“After saying this, he [Yeshua] was taken up before their eyes; and a cloud hid him from their sight. As they were staring into the sky after him, suddenly they saw two men dressed in white standing next to them. The men said, “You Galileans! Why are you standing, staring into space? This Yeshua, who has been taken away from you into heaven, will come back to you in just the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11). 

Forty days after being resurrected, Yeshua ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives –– hidden in a cloud.  If Yeshua is going to return in the same way that he left, then it is important to ‘see and understand’ this cloud with its multifaceted message.

The Greek word for ‘cloud’ is nephele and means a literal ‘cloud.’   According to Vines Expository Dictionary of Greek and Hebrew, the cloud is ‘a definitely-shaped cloud’.  Nephele comes from the word nephos with a symbolic meaning of ‘a dense multitude or throng.’  A nephele is a large physical cloud comprised of masses of clouds that covers the heavens.  

“For, brothers, I don’t want you to miss the significance of what happened to our fathers. All of them were guided by the pillar of cloud, and they all passed through the sea,  and in connection with the cloud and with the sea they all immersed themselves into Moshe” (1 Corinthians 10:1-2). 

When the Hebrews left Egypt, they were guided by a nephele pillar giving the nephele a distinct spiritual implication. When they crossed the Red Sea, they were surrounded by the nephele and the water and immersed into Moshe.

The Hebrew word for ‘cloud’ is anan and means ‘cloud mass’.  Jeremiah describes the anan, “You have covered yourself with a ‘cloud’ so thick …” (Lamentations 3:44). It is used for the presence of Adonai and His ‘cloud’ sukkah over Israel –– His ‘sign of divine protection.’ The ‘cloud’  served as a barrier to hide the fullness of Adonai’s holiness and glory while giving Israel  divine protection from the Egyptians as well as the Red Sea itself.   

“Then he [Moshe] ascended Mount Sinai, as the LORD had ordered him to do. The LORD descended in the cloud, stood with him there and pronounced the name of yod-hey-vav-hey” (Exodus 34:4).

When Moshe ascended to the mountain, Adonai descended in the anan. From within the anan, He proclaimed His memorial name: Esher Ehyeh Asher (Exodus 34:4-5).  The ‘cloud’ along with His divine presence is the exact representation of the name ‘I am that I am.’

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them; and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5).

Nephele is used for the bright ‘cloud’ on the mountain where Yeshua was glorified in front of Peter, James and John.  Appearing with Yeshua were Elijah and Moses.  God spoke aloud to the three dicsiples from the ‘cloud’ that ‘enveloped’ them.  The Greek word for ‘enveloped’ is episkiazó and means ‘overshadow.’ According to Strong’s Concordance, this word is used in the new testament as “God’s over-shadowing presence – which always brings His plan to pass, His immutable will for physical circumstances.”

Both testaments describe the return of Yeshua to the earth. Both testaments support the witness of the ‘two men dressed in white’ who tell the disciples that Yeshua will return ‘in the cloud.’

“Look! He is coming with the clouds! Every eye will see him, including those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the Land will mourn him” (Zechariah 12:10). 

The prophet Zechariah uses the Hebrew anan for the ‘clouds’ on which Yeshua comes, the clouds of the presence of Adonai. Every eye will see him come in the thick ‘cloud’ of his glory, and all the tribes of the Land will mourn.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise;  then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).

First Thessalonians uses nephele for the ‘cloud’ in which Yeshua will catch up his Bride.  In the nephele, the living and resurrected saints will be transformed from mortal into immorality.

The Firstfruits ‘Witnesses’

“Also the graves were opened, and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life;  and after Yeshua rose, they came out of the graves and went into the holy city, where many people saw them” (Matthew 27:52-53).

At the moment of Yeshua’s death when the Temple veil was torn, Matthew gives ‘witness’ to the holy people raised from the dead. These ‘firstfruits’ were called out of their graves to bear ‘witness’ to the reality of the resurrection of the dead. What happened to these resurrected people as there is no further mention of them?  They could not die again because “it is appointed for man to die once” (Hebrews 9:27). Peter, James and John had already witnessed the ‘cloud’ of Adonai’s glory around Yeshua, Elijah and Moshe on the mountain. Could it be that Elijah and Moshe appeared as the same ‘cloud’ of witnesses as the holy ones?

Great Cloud of Witnesses

“So then, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us, too, put aside every impediment — that is, the sin which easily hampers our forward movement — and keep running with endurance in the contest set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

The word ‘witness’ in Greek is martus (English: martyr) and is used for a ‘witness’ in history and forensics. Torah requires that to convict a person of any offense or sin, there must be two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15). Sha’ul admits that when Stephen was being stoned, he stood as a ‘witness’ in full agreement with other ‘witnesses’ (Acts 22:20).

From Vines Expository Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, another meaning of martus is ‘one who does what he has seen or heard.’   Everyone born again into God’s Kingdom is a martry –– witness ––  to the Kingdom.  We either live as a martyr when we do what Yeshua did and listen to God’s Word or die as a martyr which means ‘to bear witness by their death.’

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for testifying [witnessing] about Yeshua and proclaiming the Word of God” (Revelation 20:4).

This great ‘cloud of witnesses’ that includes Elijah, Moshe, and the holy ones challenges us to repent from sins that keep us from attaining our eternal goal: the glory of Adonai.   This great ‘cloud’ of firstfruits gives us hope in a coming resurrection. This ‘great cloud of witnesses’ promises that Yeshua will return with a ‘great cloud of witnesses.’ As ‘witnesses’ of Yeshua, we eagerly wait for that promised day when he returns and we enter the great resurrected ‘cloud of witnesses.’

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.  

Feast of Weeks – Shavuot

Feast of Weeks – Shavuot

“From the day after the  Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering (Firstfruits), count off seven full weeks.  Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.  From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of a fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of Firstfruits to the Lord. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live” (Leviticus 23:15-21).

The Feast of Weeks in Hebrew is Shavuot; in Greek it is called Pentecost. Shavuot is the ‘appointed time’ to be observed 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits of the barley harvest as the the Firstfruits of the wheat harvest.

Fifty days after being delivered from Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, and receiving manna and living water, the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai. Exodus 20 and 21 describe the events surrounding God descending to the top of Mount Sinai to meet with His newly formed nation. Thunder, lightning, and a thick cloud covered the mountain with a resounding shofar blast.  The people trembled with fear of dying and asked for Moses be the mediator between them and God.

When God outlined his ‘appointed times,’ this event became known as Feast of Weeks and was made as a lasting ordinance. It was also one of the three commanded pilgrimage Feasts when Jewish people from every nation were to gather in Jerusalem to worship Adonai.   As they arrived in Jerusalem at the Temple with two loaves of leavened bread for a wave offering, hundreds of thousands of Jewish people would listen as the priest read the following traditional passage from the prophet Ezekiel:

“I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal” (Ezekiel 1:4).

The Wind and Tongues of Fire

“Now there were staying in Jerusalem religious Jews from every nation under “Now there were staying in Jerusalem religious Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered; they were confused, because each one heard the believers speaking in his own language.  Totally amazed, they asked, ‘How is this possible? Aren’t all these people who are speaking from the Galilee? How is it that we hear them speaking in our native languages? We are Parthians, Medes, Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judah, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome; all Jews by birth and proselytes; Jews from Crete and from Arabia! How is it that we hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things God has done?’  Amazed and confused, they all went on asking each other, ‘What can this mean?’” (Acts 2:5-13).

Fifty days after Yeshua’s resurrection, the Feast of Weeks arrived. Jews from every nation came to Jerusalem in obedience to the commandment. This particular year, however, when the priest waved the offerings of leavened bread and they heard the words of Ezekiel, the ‘holy wind of God’ began to roar violently and, before their eyes,  a small group of 70 people had tongues of fire appear over their heads.

“The festival of Shavuot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place.  Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole place where they were sitting.  Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them.  They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak” (Acts 2:1-4).

In Hebrew, Holy Spirit is Ruach haKodesh. The word ruach means ‘breath’ or ‘wind’ and the word kodesh means ‘holy.’ The ‘holy wind of God’ blew violently as He poured His Holy Spirit into the hearts of 70 men. The tongues of fire separated and came to rest on each of the disciples’ heads.  Through the ‘holy wind of God’ and His refining flaming fire, they began to speak in other languages. In Greek the word glossa is ‘tongue’ and means ‘a nation distinguished by its speech.’ As the disciples spoke, Jews from every nation heard the message of repentance in their own ‘tongue.’

Hebrew Word Pictures

Wind or Ruach – רוח

ר Resh – A Head means ‘what is most important.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ח Chet – A Fence means ‘protect.’

Holy or HaKodesh – הקודש

ה Hey – A Window means ‘behold or reveal.’

ק Kof – A Back of the Head means ‘what is final.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume.’

The complete Hebrew word picture for Ruach haKodesh: What is most important is the binding that protects; behold the final binding is the consuming pathway.

Fire or Esh – אש

א Alef – An Ox means ‘first strength.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume.’

The Hebrew word picture for esh: The first strength consumes.

Tongues or Lashon – לשון

ל Lamed – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘to urge forward.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

נ Nun – A Fish means ‘life.’

The Hebrew word picture for lashon: Urge forward the consuming and binding of life.

Two millennia earlier, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh made His holy presence known to the Israelites through wind and lightning. He revealed His holy presence through wind and fire to Ezekiel. Could it be that Adonai was again revealing His holy presence through ‘wind’ and ‘tongues of fire?’ The crowds in Jerusalem from all over the known world are hearing the impossible. They are confused and amazed. The disciples of Yeshua are speaking in each of their different languages with such perfection that they knew it was a miracle.

Peter stands up. This man who had publicly denied knowing Yeshua only seven weeks earlier stands, raises his voice, and addresses the crowd. He explains that they are witnessing the fulfillment of a prophecy of Joel and begins to testify about Yeshua of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel.

“I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29).

Pierced Hearts

“Men of Israel! Listen to this! Yeshua from Natzeret was a man demonstrated to you to have been from God by the powerful works, miracles and signs that God performed through him in your presence. You yourselves know this. This man was arrested in accordance with God’s predetermined plan and foreknowledge; and, through the agency of persons not bound by the Torah, you nailed him up on a stake and killed him! But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Yeshua, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah” (Acts 2:22-24).

When Jews from every nation heard Peter’s testimony about Yeshua, they were “cut to the heart.” The Orthodox Jewish Bible says they were “pierced with conviction in their hearts.” The Hebrew word for ‘cut’ is b’rit, the same word used for ‘cutting a covenant.’  The Spirit of God brought not only conviction with a circumcision of their hearts, but renewed the covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai; the covenant they had broken.

The people ask what they need to do regarding this ‘renewed’ covenant. Peter and the apostles respond with the Hebrew word shuv, meaning ‘turn back’ or ‘return’ in the sense of making a 180 degree turn around from the direction you are heading and go a different way. It is translated into English as ‘repent.’

“Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Messiah Yeshua for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:29).

The men and women of Israel needed to repent from their disobedience and return to faith in God.  They needed to be immersed into the name of Yeshua for the forgiveness of their sins and receive the gift of God’s Spirit. Three thousand Jewish men and women repented and turned back to God that day. They received forgiveness of their sins and the Holy Spirit was poured into their hearts (Acts 2:41). Their hearts of stone were changed into hearts of flesh and the new covenant prophesied by Ezekiel and Jeremiah, instituted and promised by Yeshua, had begun in Jerusalem on Shavuot with Israel.

“This is the [new] covenant I will make with the House of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people…. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:33-34).

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you; I will take the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit inside you and cause you to live by my laws, respect my rulings and obey them” (Ezekiel 36:24).

“For this is my blood, which ratifies the New Covenant, my blood shed on behalf of many, so that they may have their sins forgiven” (Matthew 26:28).

The Kingdom of Heaven

“And he [Yeshua] told them yet another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like chametz that a woman took and mixed with a bushel of flour, then waited until the whole batch of dough rose” (Matthew 13:33).

Chametz or ‘soured dough’ was used for raising bread without yeast. It was always symbolic of the leavened, puffed up teachings of Israel’s leaders, yet Yeshua uses ‘soured dough’ to describe the Kingdom of Heaven in his parable. Chametz is the ingredient the woman takes and mixes with her flour to make the dough rise. When the leavened dough rose to its fullest extent, the woman  had enough dough from a single bushel of flour for a feast of leavened bread.   

The commandment for Shavuot included a grain offering along with two loaves of leavened bread made from finely ground flour. The two leavened loaves were waved before Adonai by the high priest. For millennia, as the two loaves were waved, the people hoped in the coming Messiah promised by the two witnesses of the Torah and the Prophets.

When Yeshua walked on the Road to Emmaus after his resurrection, he told the two men with him that everything in the Torah and Prophets had spoken about him. This witness of two established him as the Messiah of Israel.

Ten days after Yeshua’s ascension, the ‘holy breath’ of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh had been worked into a small lump of dough –– 70 disciples.  From their testimony, the Jews who heard the message and were “cut to the heart.” Through the power of the Ruach haKodesh, their hearts were transformed and they became empowered witnesses of repentance, forgiveness, and redemption. They would take the good news of Yeshua back to their own countries in their own languages.  They would become the first missionaries to proclaim salvation to the Jew first (Romans 1:16).  

Within a few years, the power of God’s ‘holy breath’ would come upon the gentiles, change their hearts, and they would become part of God’s Kingdom along with Israel. As the two leavened loaves of bread were being waved by the high priest in the Temple, the Body of Messiah was born. God’s ‘holy wind’ had been poured into a small lump of dough and, like the woman’s leaven, would continue to grow and spread from them to the nations of the world until the Kingdom of God would be established by another witness of two: Jew and gentile, one in Messiah, proclaiming the good news of Yeshua (Galatians 3:28). 

Fulfilled by Yeshua

“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, and Strengthener), to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:14-20).

Yeshua kept his promise. He ascended to his Father and asked Him to send the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth. On the ‘appointed time’ of Feast of Weeks, God poured out His Ruach haKodesh with wind and flames of fire.  Seventy disciples understood that Yeshua and his Father were One, and they were joined with them to restore the broken covenant. They were no longer fatherless, they had Adonai as their Father as Yeshua did. They were given the same authority to forgive sins as Yeshua along with the anointing power to be witnesses of his salvation to the world.

Yeshua kept his promise. He ascended to his Father and asked Him to send the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth. On the Feast of Weeks, God poured out His Ruach haKodesh with wind and flames of fire.  Seventy disciples were transformed in their hearts. They were no longer fatherless, they had Adonai as their Father as Yeshua did. They were given the same authority to forgive sins as Yeshua along with the anointing power to be witnesses of his salvation to the world. These new faithful followers of Yeshua were reborn into His Kingdom and sealed with God’s Spirit. They became the Firstfruits of the wheat harvest as Yeshua fulfilled another of his Father’s ‘appointed times.’

 For more about Yeshua fullfilling the ‘appointed times,’ purchase Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts.

©2008 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.

The Big Ten in the New Testament

The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Romans 13:9).

Some in the modern-day church teach that one or more of The Ten Commandments are not reiterated in the New Testament, thus they are no longer in effect. However, none of the commandments have been removed, abolished, or changed. The Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20, are the ‘Table of Contents’ to the Torah given to Israel by God at Mount Sinai, not the entire Torah which details how to live within the community of God’s people, and the world. Throughout the New Testament, Yeshua refers to this ‘Table of Contents’ whenever he is asked about the commandments. He never negates any of the commandments in the Torah, even when asked about the greatest commandment.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

“Yeshua replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law (Torah) and the Prophets hang on these two commandments’” (Matthew 22:36-40).

Yeshua answered the question by stating that the Torah and the Prophets sum up two greatest commandments: love God and love your neighbor. Neither of these are new commandments as Yeshua quotes from the Shema, the words given by God through the prophet Moses to the children of Israel.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:4-8).

Some pastors teach that the Torah was given only to Israel suggesting that followers of Yeshua are not bound by the same commandments. Again, this is not true. If you are a child of God and born again into His Kingdom, then His commandments are for you. Every earthly father has instructions for his children, natural or adopted, to obey. Our heavenly Father is no different; his family is no different.

Yeshua said, “If you love me, then you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15). Yeshua and his Father are One (John 10:30). Yeshua is the flesh voice of God making him the mouthpiece of his Father (John 1:14). Everything Yeshua spoke to the people were the Words that His Father commanded him to speak (John 12:49) Therefore, his commandments will always completely agree with his Father’s commandments.

The Ten Commandments with the Alef-Bet

When The Ten Commandments were given to Israel at Mount Sinai, they weren’t written with Roman numerals or from left to right. They were written with Hebrew letters, right to left, and called the Ten Words. A wonderful tool for learning The Ten Commandments is to use the first ten letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each of the letters have a picture that actually reveals the meaning of each commandment. The Ten Commandments are listed below using the Hebrew letter picture along with New Testament Scriptures proving that all of The Ten Commandments were reiterated by Yeshua and the apostles in the New Testament.

Love God – The First and Greatest Commandment

א Alef – An Ox

The first commandment is represented by the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, alef. The letter picture for alef is an Ox. The Ox is symbolic of ‘strength, leader, or what comes first.’ We are to have no other gods except first and foremost, yod-hey-vav-hey who delivers us from the bondage of slavery into freedom, from sin and death into fullness of life. It is only Adonai who is able to destroy every power or ‘other gods’ as He did in Egypt.

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3).

“Yeshua answered, ‘It is written: ‘Worship the LORD your God and serve him only’” (Luke 4:8).

ב Bet – A House

The second commandment is represented by the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, bet. The letter picture for bet is a Tent or House. This letter symbolizes ‘a household or family’ and is the preposition in. In Middle Eastern culture, idols were called ‘household gods.’ Rachel was guilty of sitting on an idol when Laban came to Jacob looking for his household gods (Genesis 31:19).

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:4-6).

“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).

ג Gimel – A Camel

The third commandment is represented by the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet, gimel. The letter picture for gimel is a Camel, and is also the Hebrew word for ‘camel.’ The symbolic meaning is to ‘lift up or pride.’ We are not to use the name of Adonai pridefully. We are not to lift up His Name up in any profane way. When we live lawlessly, contrary to His commands, and call ourselves His followers, saved by Yeshua, then we misuse His Name and profane it among the world in which we live. This would be considered ‘taking His Name in vain.’

“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD (Yahweh)  your God, for the LORD (Adaoni)  will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:7).

“As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the nations because of you’” (Romans 2:24).

ד Dalet – A Door

The fourth commandment is represented by the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, dalet. The letter picture for dalet is a Door and is also the Hebrew word for ‘door.’ The symbolic meaning is ‘a pathway or a place to enter.’ Yeshua stands at the dalet and knocks. Anyone who opens the dalet to him will enjoy the feast fellowship with him (Revelation 3:20). The fourth commandment is the Sabbath and the dalet we enter so we can have a more intimate fellowship with the Father through Yeshua.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. For in six days the LORD (Adonai)  made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:8).

“Then Yeshua said to them, ‘The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath’” (Luke 6:5).

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work (of creation), just as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9,10).

The first three commandments explain how to love God; the next six explain how to love our neighbor. The Sabbath is the dalet or pathway that moves us from loving God to loving our neighbor.

Love your Neighbor – The Second Greatest Commandment

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).

ה Hey – A Window

The fifth commandment is represented by the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, hey. The letter picture for hey is a Window and symbolizes ‘to behold, observe or reveal,’ and is the modifier the like in HaShem (The Name). On the cross, Yeshua looks at John and says, “John, behold your mother. Mother, behold your son” (John 19:26).

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD (Adonai) your God is living you” (Exodus 20:12).

“Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a a promise” (Ephesians 6:2).

ו Vav – A Nail

The sixth commandment is represented by the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, vav. The letter picture for vav is a Nail or Peg. It is symbolic of ‘securing and binding,’ and is the conjunction and as in chesed v’ahava meaning ‘mercy and love.’ Yeshua was bound and nailed to the cross and killed.

“You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).

“Do not murder,  and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with is brother will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:22).

ז Zayin – A Sword

The seventh commandment is represented by the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet, zayin. The letter picture for zayin is a Weapon like an axe. It is symbolic of ‘cutting, separating, and dividing.’ Adultery is like an axe that separates and divides a married couple.

“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).

“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mark 10:9).

ח Chet – A Fence

The eighth commandment is represented by the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, chet. The letter picture for chet is a Fence. The symbolic meaning of chet is to ‘surround in order to protect that which is within its boundaries.’ A fence surrounds personal property from those who would steal. In Hebrew thought, the Torah is considered a ‘fence’ that surrounds and protects those who stay within its boundaries.

“You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

“You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal“ (Luke 18:20).

“He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28).

ט Tet – A Snake

The ninth commandment is represented by the ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, tet. The letter picture for tet is a Snake. It symbolizes ‘twisting.’ It was the serpent who twisted the truth and lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden. False testimony or lying is ‘twisting’ the truth.

“You shall not give false testimony (lie) against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).

“You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony’”(Luke 18:20).

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.  He was a murderer from the beginning,  not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

י Yod – A Closed Hand

The tenth commandment is represented by the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, yod. The letter picture for yod is a Closed Hand. This symbolizes ‘a finished work or completed deed.’ When a person covets, their hand is not closed and content, but open and desiring more –– more of what their neighbor has.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.  For He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

The Word of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh

“In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and Torah the LORD our God has commanded you?’

Tell him:  ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.  Before our eyes the LORD sent miraculous signs and wonders – great and terrible – upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household.  But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers.  The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as in the case today.  And if we are careful to obey all this Torah before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness’” (Deuteronomy 6:20-25).

The Word of Yeshua

“I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Torah until everything is accomplished.  Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:18-19).

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.